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Bill Gates just says no to smoking at the Beijing Olympics


At this year's Olympics, you can boot up, but don't light up: China's pledge to host a "smoke-free" Olympic games in Beijing has gotten a boost from former Microsoft executive and co-founder Bill Gates. Gates, who left Microsoft to work full-time for his Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, is spending $130,000 on anti-smoking advertisements that will appear at the games, which kick off August 8, according to China Daily. The Gates Foundation's latest anti-smoking campaign is part of the $125 million it has pledged over the next five years to fight smoking in places such as China, India, and Africa. Beijing has pledged a smoke-free Olympics, banning smoking from most indoor public spaces, workplaces and spectator areas of open-air stadiums for the duration of the games. More than 350 million people in China smoke, and about 1 million people die from smoking-related causes every year, according to the nation’s Ministry of Health.

(Photo courtesy of Microsoft)

The views expressed are those of the author and are not necessarily those of Scientific American.

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